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Dave Holland Trio, Sonny Simmons, Astral Spirits & El Negocito Releases

Read "Dave Holland Trio, Sonny Simmons, Astral Spirits & El Negocito Releases" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

There's something in this episode for just about everybody. You'll hear samples from the new Dave Holland trio project, some hard-nosed improv from new releases on the Astral Spirits label (including a re-release of Cleveland's legendary Vernacular Trio), a look through some releases from the interesting catalogue of Belgium's El Negocito Records, a walk down memory lane with Joe Farrell's Moon Germs, and a recognition of the great alto player, Sonny Simmons, who passed recently. Playlist Dave Holland ...


Album Review

Sonny Simmons: Leaving Knowledge, Wisdom and Brilliance / Chasing the Bird?

Read "Leaving Knowledge, Wisdom and Brilliance / Chasing the Bird?" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

American alto sax and English horn (Cor Anglais) player Sonny Simmons needs no introduction. Now 81 years old, Simmons was a key player in America's free jazz eruption in the 1960s. He released his first solo albums on ESP- Disk, the exponent label of free jazz and recorded or played with legendary musicians like Eric Dolphy, Albert Ayler, Charles Mingus and Don Cherry. Since the seventies his musical career went through some turbulent phases. Fortunately, in ...


Album Review

The Cosmosamatics: Jazz-Maalika

Read "Jazz-Maalika" reviewed by Ian Patterson

The Cosmosamatics--an ever-evolving ensemble co-led by multi-reedists Sonny Simmons and Michael Marcus--was founded in 2000, though the seeds were arguably planted many years earlier. Half a century ago, Simmons was cutting his teeth with multi-reedists Prince Lasha, Eric Dolphy and others of the so-called free jazz movement. Marcus made his name in the avant/free circles of a later generation, so there was a natural symmetry to their eventual meeting in the early 1980s and subsequent collaborations. The Cosmosamatics has always ...


Album Review

Sonny Simmons: Staying on the Watch

Read "Staying on the Watch" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

The sixties were a time of turmoil and invention. Jazz was cast into several shapes by musicians who were willing to take chances, were not afraid to go against the grain, and believed in their vision to fathom and articulate new territory. Alto saxophonist Sonny Simmons was among those who added to lore. He could fathom a cry of anguish just as easily as he could herald a shout of joy, as he created an ambience that spread its wings ...


Album Review

Sonny Simmons: Staying on the Watch

Read "Staying on the Watch" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Alto saxophonist Sonny Simmons embraces music with his whole body, soul, mind and spirit; that much is clear from Staying on the Watch, recorded in August 1966 and reissued by ESP-Disk in 2010. Not everything that he did got its due: when Simmons came on the scene, he remained too close to Charlie Parker. When he discovered his own brooding voice with that characteristic, sharp intonation that made his alto sound almost like a shenai (Indian flute), he floated on ...


Multiple Reviews

Sonny Simmons: Last Man Standing; Introducing Black Jack Pleasanton & Fourth Dimension

Read "Sonny Simmons: Last Man Standing; Introducing Black Jack Pleasanton & Fourth Dimension" reviewed by Jeff Stockton

Sonny Simmons Last Man Standing Jazzaway 2008 Sonny Simmons Introducing Black Jack Pleasanton Hello World 2008 Sonny Simmons Fourth Dimension Hello World 2008

Sonny Simmons will turn 75 this year and the range of musical knowledge and influence heard in his playing suggest ...


Album Review

Sonny Simmons: Last Man Standing

Read "Last Man Standing" reviewed by Nic Jones

This is the latest in a series of albums under saxophonist Sonny Simmons' name put out by the Norwegian Jazzaway label; a further instalment in the documentation of an abundantly creative artist, but one who only relatively recently has started to receive the kind of exposure he deserves.

The setting here is a straight-ahead one and Simmons thrives in it. In the company of a rhythm section that does everything a listener might ask of it, and a whole lot ...


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